Vietnam tightens border control against complex development of COVID-19

Monday, 2021-04-19 09:46:28
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Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long (second from right) visits forces stationed on the border line in Ha Tien, in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, April 18, 2021. (Photo: NDO/Viet Tien)
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NDO – Vietnam has tightened control over both land and sea borders to prevent COVID-19 from entering the country amid the complex development of the epidemic in the region and around the world.

>>> COVID-19: Three imported cases logged on April 18

On April 18, a mission from the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control led by Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long inspected immigration management, medical isolation, supervision and vaccination against COVID-19 in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang.

Vice Chairman of Kien Giang Provincial People's Committee Nguyen Luu Trung shared that cross-border entries are continuing to evolve complicatedly, while the province's COVID-19 testing capacity remains limited, making it difficult for Kien Giang in the fight against the pandemic.

Kien Giang authorities proposed that the Government and the Ministry of Health help strengthen the testing capacity of Ha Tien City – the province’s capital – for proactive screening and avoid widespread spread, while support treatment for the province in case of sudden increase in the number of expatriates returning from Cambodia, as well as giving priority to the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to Kien Giang in the following phases for the vaccination of the forces engaged in the epidemic prevention and control.

Health Minister Long suggested Kien Giang to proactively raise a higher alert level and prepare for all possible scenarios against the supposed widespread of the epidemic in the community, while strictly complying with the set principles and directives from the Government, the Prime Minister and the National Steering Committee on measures against COVID-19.

Stressing that deployment of measures to prevent and control the border on land and at sea is the prerequisite to the epidemic prevention and control, the minister also urged units under the Ministry of Health to coordinate with and support Kien Giang to improve testing capacity for the cities of Ha Tien and Rach Gia and establish an emergency unit to treat critical cases.

He also agreed with Kien Giang's proposal to establish a field hospital in Ha Tien City for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 positive cases, as Ha Tien City Medical Centre can only provide treatment to about 50 cases at present.

On the same day, the mission visited and encouraged forces working on the epidemic prevention and control at Ha Tien International Border Gate and several other posts on the border. To prevent illegal entries, Kien Giang has established 112 land control posts and 16 mobile sea control teams using nine ships and two high-speed boats of the Border Guards force.

* The Ministry of Health has issued a decision to adjust the allocation of 110,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines provided by COVAX in the second phase. Accordingly, 35,000 doses will be provided to the military; 34,350 to the Centres for Disease Control in 44 provinces and cities; an additional 10,650 doses to five provinces of An Giang, Tay Ninh, Kien Giang, Dong Thap and Long An; and 30,000 doses that were previously granted to the police will be diverted to the Centres for Disease Control of 62 provinces and cities.

Currently, 49 out of 63 provinces and cities received the vaccines in the second phase, while the remaining 14 localities will continue to be allocated in the coming time.

* Of the total of 56,250 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to be distributed in the second phase, the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City will deploy injections to three groups of subjects, including 45,190 priority doses for health workers at both public and non-public health facilities (those who have not received the first injection in the first campaign); 2,000 doses given to employees who have had contact with entries at Tan Son Nhat Airport; and 9,050 second dose injections given to health-care workers who have received their first shot.

As planned, the phase 2 of vaccination against COVID-19 in Ho Chi Minh City will take place from April 19 to 30.